SJ County Student Wins Award at National STEM Competition

Lammersville Unified student wins one of four grand prize awards at Broadcom MASTERS, a competition among the nation's top STEM students

Mountain House 13-year-old Jacqueline Prawira took home $10,000 and one of the top awards after competing in the Broadcom MASTERS, a national STEM contest drawing from a talented pool of more than 2,500 middle school students who qualified at science fairs last school year across the United States.

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) program was created by the Society for Science & the Public to inspire the young scientists, engineers, and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future.

Jacqueline found her challenge performing the everyday chore of taking out the garbage. It taught her about how much waste people produce, and it inspired her to do something about it. She got to work making a "bioplastic" out of rice. She then used fibers from recycled paper, old cotton T-shirts, and other refuse to increase the tensile strength of her bioplastic.

Her research formed the basis of her Bio.fiber.plastic project she entered into the San Joaquin County Science and Engineering Fair as an eighth-grader. She went on to win first place in the chemistry category at the California Science and Engineering Fair in May, where she qualified for the Broadcom MASTERS competition.

Of the 2,537 qualified applicants, she was one of only 30 finalists to win the all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. from Oct. 19-23 to participate in a rigorous competition to demonstrate skills of critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration in each of the academic disciplines of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).  

Her project was awarded the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, the third highest amount awarded at Broadcom MASTERS.

"I am very pleased to congratulate Jacqueline Prawira on receiving this prestigious award. The distinguished scientists and engineers judging the Broadcom MASTERS competition found her project to be among the best in the nation," said Lissa Gilmore, the San Joaquin County Office of Education STEM Programs coordinator of the county science fair. "We are not surprised because her projects have consistently impressed judges at the San Joaquin County Science and Engineering Fair. Her latest accomplishment in the Broadcom MASTERS is an inspiration to other students in San Joaquin County striving to achieve in STEM."

Jacqueline is currently a freshman at Mountain House High School. She was a student at Altamont Elementary School when she entered her qualifying project in the county Science and Engineering Fair. Both schools are part of the Lammersville Unified School District.

More information:

  • To read a description of Jacqueline's project, Bio.fiber.plastic: The effect of Lignocellulosic Fiber in Enhancing the Formation and Tensile Strength of Rice Bioplast, go to http://bit.ly/2z1bESU.
Posted: 10/25/2018